What is website hosting anyway?

If you want to have a website you have to make that website available to outside users. Website hosting is nothing more than a folde on a computer with an internet connection.

Hey, that sounds like every computer. Yes, it is. You could very easily host a website with your own computer but you wont becasue of the technical aspects and security of it.

You need to have a static ip which most isp's wont give you. Also, most isp's will turn off port 80 the standard port for http connections. Mainly, they don't want you to run a website from your computer because of the cost to them. They want you to use as little bandwidth as possible and usually make it against their policy to use your home account to host anything.

But web hosting a slightly more complicated than right clicking and adding a new folder for mywebsite.com although it is essentialy what the host will do.

The website is a blank folder that you can upload files to. But the folder is accessible to anyone that wants to get to it to download files. Of course uploading is limited to you via ftp or sftp.

If you use your own computer, you don't need ftp you can just darg files into the folder you assign to the website.

You can download the apache web server software at http://apache.org and get started if you really want to. Its not at all complicated as far as computing goes. But other than installing the apache dameon and cofiguring a website the rest is very complicated.

You need to run dns servers or use a dns service which will cost you more than the complete website. You will need t0 maintain the operating system and deal with web hackers trying to access your computer which is now wide open to the rest of the world.

I am not trying to scare you, its just a fact.

The logistics of running a website take years to learn and the $10 you pay for a complete solution make running your own website just pointless. But the concept is pretty basic and anyone with a desire to learn can do it. There are forums that discuss hosting on DSL lines and cable accounts.

If you want to run a large number of websites, you wont likely have enough bandwidth to do it. If you host small numbers, then the cost of hosting commerially is more efficient than owning your own equipment. But if you want to learn more it is a great starting point but not a viable solution for a business website.